Fighting the World

“Part of my game right now is to piss everybody off.”—Jessie

Parallels between the Big Brother house and high school are innumerous at this point.[1] The same thing happens every year: Someone becomes ostracized by the house, and they inevitable moan, “This is so high school!” In the case of Big Brother 11, they actually divided the house into athletes, populars, brains, and offbeats.

Jessie’s latest meltdown reminds me how I felt in high school: frustrated and inconsequential. And to stave off the resultant depression, you end up directing your aggression outward to this amorphous concept of “the world.” “Fuck the world and all it’s worth, every inch of planet earth,” says Phil Anselmo (a man who was clearly once a teenager) in Pantera’s “War Nerve.”

When I was younger, one of my favorite exponents of this philosophy was Manowar’s “Fighting the World.” In “Fighting the World,” Eric Adams details the ethos of the band. What do they do for a living? They fight. Who do they fight? The world. Any further questions?

That was Jessie last week. She was fighting the world. She prowled around the house looking for any takers, and anyone was fair game. Was it ever going to change anything? Of course not. But that never mattered. We fight. This is who we are. Stripes on a tiger don’t wash away.


Let Them Drink Booze!

“I said what I said. I’m not going to lie about it.”—Amanda

“I said what I meant and I've never pretended as so many others do, intending just to please.”—W. Axl Rose, “Don’t Damn Me”

I’ll never understand why Big Brother production is so stingy with the alcohol. It has to be good for ratings, right? Some of the more memorable moments from this season have been galvanized by alcohol (McCrae’s bachelor party, Elissa flipping off the camera during McCrae’s birthday bash, etc.) It obliterates one’s cognitive filter, precipitating honest, offbeat discourse. And, of course, it leads to fights.

Winegate is back, folks! And no, this isn’t a new incident involving a stolen wine bottle. They are still arguing over what happened two months ago! Aaryn was rehashing the events of that night (while slightly intoxicated) and mentioned how Amanda made a “cunty” comment. McCrae and Andy both agreed with Aaryn. This sent Amanda into a frenzy. Not only did she feel unjustly criticized for Aryan’s indiscretion, but she was livid that McCrae took Aaryn’s side.

They moved on to talk about the respective “cuntiness” of McCrae (for telling Aaryn how to cook pizza,) Howard, and Jeremy. But Amanda couldn’t let it go: She kept sporadically interjecting to hector Aaryn and McCrae. And at this juncture, Aaryn had yet to make her replacement nomination. “Amanda pisses me off constantly, and I never say anything about it, ever,”[2] Aaryn confided to Andy. She began to seriously question her place in their alliance and considered backdooring Amanda.

Now I’m actually with Amanda on this one—to an extent. I certainly don’t understand her insistence that McCrae back her up on everything. But I don’t know what was so objectionable about her comment, that people should check the lips of other houseguests to determine the culprits. I suppose it’s sort of childish, how she implicated people by not actually saying names. But how is it that everyone is in concert here? Was she really in the wrong at that moment?

Her pugnacious attitude reminds of my all-time favorite frontman, Axl Rose. Axl Rose never reacted to criticism very well. He was notorious for writing letters to small town critics, imprecating people in his lyrics, and ranting about his familial disputes in the middle of concerts. And you know what? I get it. Most of the time I thought Axl was right.

But now I can see that Axl was kind of fighting a losing battle. The issue isn’t the veracity of what he was saying, it was the way he expressed himself. He was too acrimonious, so much that it probably undercut the message he was conveying.

As a public figure, sometimes you just have to accept that being maligned is part of the deal.[3] You can never have 100% control over the public’s perception of you. We were wrong: You can’t just indiscriminately fight the world. You have to pick your battles, because by diving headlong into every petty disagreement, you only make matters worse.


Now That’s What I Call Out of Context Quotes Volume 1:

Spencer: “Dude, it would be so awesome in my life if people wanted to have sex with me.”

Andy: “Any kid named Cash needs his ass kicked immediately.”

Amanda: “I can sense people’s sexualness…”

Helen: “[T]he ridiculousness was, like, ridiculous.”

Andy: “Elissa is a selfish, crazy robot…”

Spencer: “I’m fat and ugly…”

Jeremy: “I'm a girl too.”

[1] Exhibit A

[2] Thank goodness for alcohol.

[3] Obviously, I do not know much about the private life of Axl Rose. Back in GNR’s heyday, everyone wanted a piece of his action, so I’m sure there were things that he ignored.